tv Book Discussion on 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative CSPAN March 29, 2014 10:45am-12:01pm EDT
conservative. this is what about an hour and 15 minutes. [applause] >> thank you, ashley. thank you, andrew. growth city college graduate. andrew was in the first-class i taught in 1990, i think he was. thank you to packs will as well, ron robinson who is not here, the young america's foundation longtime executive director, thank you for all that you do for young people, for campuses across the country and for conserving and preserving the reagan ranch and reagan legacy. ronald reagan reagan conservatism was about conserving and preserving as well. that is something, more on that in a minute. also thanks to c-span for being here, people often call c-span
and say thank god for c-span. i echoes that. there is not many sources out there as objective as c-span. they just put it out there, unedited, no commentary, let it speak for itself and there are so many talks like this the golan all around the country, thousands of times a year. there could just be a camera here to capture this and record and broadcast it and only c-span does that so much appreciated. my topic today, what is a reagan conservative? it is based on my new book "11 principles of a reagan conservative," and this question, what is a reagan conservative? if you do a google search right now or last time i did a google search on the words reagan conservative, came up with 30 million hits. different people trying to define it and what it means and
the lot of that is because so many republican candidates, statewide, local races, nationwide, presidential candidates, they will say over and over again when asked what they believe i am a reagan conservative. but what is that? in many cases they say this not so much because maybe they even necessarily totally know what reagan conservative is but many of them want to emulate his political sense, reagan's political appeal. here was a man in 1980 who won 44 out of 50 states against an incumbent president, 44 out of 50 states and one of the reasons jimmy carter does so much is this lingering sense of rejection he must have. it is a good heart. i don't want to be little flat but that was -- think about that. for an incumbent president to lose 44 out of 50 states.
in 1984 reagan was reelected by winning 49 of 50 states. the only state he didn't win was minnesota, which was the home state of his challenger, walter mondale. so reagan twice won states that republicans today could only dream of winning. won california twice, won new jersey twice, won massachusetts twice. if you were laughing thinking this is ridiculous, it could never happen again, my home state of pennsylvania he won twice. the second election he won the alert durrell college by a vote of 525-13. so there is no need to recount florida and in that race. the combined electoral college margin in sees two presidential
races was 1,014-62. what republican wouldn't want to be like reagan in that sense? if you think about it ronald reagan, his presidency, not just that he got elected, when he left he left office with the highest presidential approval ratings of any president since eisenhower, the highest gallup approval of any since eisenhower and if you go before reagan, he replaces a president who fails to get reelected, jimmy carter. prior to jimmy carter was gerald ford and never won a presidential election. prior to that year richard nixon resigned in disgrace, prior to that lbj whose presidency went so bad he declined to pursue his party's nomination for president, lbj replaced a president who was killed in
office. if you go back before eisenhower, harry truman talked about the presidency, like the great white jail. a prisoner of the presidency. truman has highest disapproval rating of any president basically until george w. bush. go back to the 20s, woodrow wilson's presidency, two term end in despair, two or three strokes in the final 18 to 24 months of his presidency. he will go after reagan. george h. w. bush, elected 1988 largely because as anybody over 30 will remember largely because it was the best way to get a third term of reagan. he won one term, that was the. he lost in 1992 to bill clinton. clinton wins with 43% of the vote roughly because of the third-party candidacy of who?
ross perot. clinton in '96 didn't get over 50% of the vote. 2000, george w. bush gets in without even winning a majority of votes and 2004, the second bush term, george bush leaves office, around 2007 at the worst gallup approval numbers of any president since harry truman. barack obama wins in 2008. 2012, obama is the first president in history, though he was the first democrat i believe since lbj to get 50% of the vote. in 2012 he was elected, the first president to do this, elected with less popular vote and elect oral college votes in his reelection. reagan won 49 out of 50 states in his reelection, obama won 26. a bare majority. if you look at a map of counties
under reagan it is a sea of red. under obama it was still a sea of red. if you look at counties. speaking of obama, there was a poll done in 2013 after the 2013 -- after the second inaugural which asked americans if ronald reagan were to run today against barack obama, who would you vote for? they said reagan by 58% over obama. that is right after obama's reelection in 2013. how was obama elected? principally the use of votes. the same poll that asked people ages 18-34 who would you vote for, reagan or obama, they picked reagan.
they took reagan. unlike gallup does up president's day poll, reagan placed first among the american public who's your favorite president? reagan got it 2001, 2005, 2011, 2012. greg unusually finishes in the top three. typically beat lincoln. imagines that. in new june of 2005 there was a poll done by a o l and time warner. a o l online which surveyed americans and didn't give them a choice, put in whatever name they wanted. who is the greatest american of all time. not the greatest president, who is the greatest american of all time. 2.4 million people responded with any status far and away
representative sample. maybe 500 people to do this polling and reagan won greatest american of all time. what republican wouldn't want to be like reagan? who would aspire to that success? you now have republican groups all over the county, state groups, they have been holding these annual lincoln day dinners for years, changing the names of many of those to reagan day dinners because the lincoln day dinners were in february which is the month of president's day and lincoln's breast and also the month of ronald reagan's birthday so many of these republican groups in a sense reagan replacing lincoln of all things. all right, so i get asked all the time by media people and others which candidate is the most like reagan? where would reagan stand on this issue or that issue?
and it begs the question of what did ronald reagan believe? this poster boy, this face of conservatism, the standard bearer and icon of the republican party, what did he believe? what did he actually believed? with that, reagan never really gave the definition of conservatism. he was afraid to try. the sooner he tried to do this you get all sorts of critics and so forth but february 6th, 1977, which was his 66th birth day he spoke at the conservative political action conference, reagan spoke their 13 times. every year of his presidency reagan spoke and this particular address which in the back of the book i have the full february of 1977 reagan speech, it is a jam. he said conservatism can mean
different things to those who call themselves conservatives and it can. really the essence of conservatism if you want a definition from me and i will give the reagan's definition, the conservatives seek to conserve and preserve the time tested values and ideas that they believe best serve the country, citizens and people everywhere. the idea that over time have proven to work, proven to be the best, give you a recommendations that is pretty consistent with the definition given by russell kirk, one of the philosophical spokesman for conservatism. the roots of american border, the american cause, some of the books he wrote in 1950s, 60s, 70s, reagan said this in 1977. conservatives, the common sense and common decency of ordinary men and women working out their
own lives in their own way, this is the heart of american conservatism. conservative wisdom and principles are derived from a willingness to learn, not just from what is going on now but from what has happened before. what has happened before? what chesterton called democracy of the dead. the ideas that our ancestors have something to say. we should stop and think about what they learned before us which doesn't mean everything that was done 200 or 400 or 500 years ago was right. the definition is the time tested values that have endorsed overtime. reagan continued, the principles of conservatism are sound because they are based on what men and women have discovered through experience in not just one generation or dozen but in all the combined experience of
mankind. this is our patrimony in a way. you don't just throw all this stuff out because you suddenly think right now you know better. when we conservatives say we know something about political affairs and what we know can be stated as principles we are saying that the principles we hold dear are those that have been found through experience to be ultimately beneficial for individuals, families, communities and nations of. found through the often bitter testing of pain or sacrifice and sorrow. it comes up with the students, the issue of same-sex marriage is so dominant in all these discussions but that is a case right there where the conservative position on that isn't to try to be mean and deny people marriage rights and so forth or tell two people who love each other that they can't come together.
the conservative believes there is something to learn from an institution that has been the way it has been for multiple thousands of years and to be real careful about an issue where just 20 years ago in 1993 the entire democratic party and liberalism and the clintons defined marriage as between a man and a woman. 20 years later anyone who disagrees with them they call them a big and all sorts of names. a conservative would they hold on a second. just 20 years ago you were where we are now. now we are the radicals? the conservative says let's stop and look back and see what we know about this through experience? where you are going now with that idea is not time tested. so reagan said the old lines dividing social and economic conservatives were disappearing
>> you have a cheat sheet in the book and on c-span you have a dvr. freedom, faith, famry, human life, american exceptionalism, the founders' wisdom, anti anti-comnism and the believe in humans. i am not have time to go through all of them but i will go through some and check the clock and you will probably have the dr pull me off the stage. the first is freedom. reagan talked about freedom. the time to chose speech october 7th 1974 said mankind from the
long assent from the swamp to the stars has above all struggled to be free. and by reagan's wreckening everyone needed freedom. freedom in 1964 was looking in the communenist world. reagan said if we lose freedom here in america there is no place to escape to. this is the last stand on earth. if we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape. and reagan felt americans needed to understand this. and they need to understand it today, too. in this swan song, his farewell
speech on january 1989, beautiful speech, and that is one of the four speeches in the back of book, too. reagan talked about what we called a freedom man. and i will quote here. he says he has become pensive in the last few weeks as he is preparing to leave washington and go back home to california about 40 minutes up the road from here. he talks about looking at the whitehouse window and says i have been thinking about the window and the past eight years and a nautical story comes to mind. a small ship and a large sailor. it was a the height of the
vietnam people escaping as it became communist. the carrier midway was being worked on and the crew spied a leaky little boat and crammed inside were refugees hoping to get to america. as they made their way through the choppy seas one spied the sailor on deck, looked up and called out to him as the sailor held out his hand to pull him up. he yelled hello american sailor, hello freedom man. imagine that. at that moment: this boat
person is more than a boat person. he is the spokesperson for freedom. he is the spokesperson for american exceptionalism as reagan was as at that moment. you have a symbol deeper than the south china sea. he doesn't say hello, military guy, hello sir. but hello freedom man. reagan a small moment with a big meaning. the moment a sailor wrote that and couldn't get out of his mind. that is what it meant to be an american in the 1980s. he stood for freedom. that is what it meant to be an american in the 1980s.
freedom has many manifestations you will hear this freedom mantra but it can mean regulations. it is easier to open a business if you are not burdened by regulations. you need the freedom to open and start a business and in some countries you cannot because of the owner's regulations. taxes. high taxes rob you of freedom. if 50% of your income goes to taxes that is 50% less of your income. money you could use to do landscaping, to pay off a student loan, to day down a mortgage, to buy a new dish washer, to hire a plumber, to give the charity. the more that the government takes away in your taxes
especially as you have an every growing government the more you lose of your personal freedom. freedom in american could be the freedom to educate your children in the school you would like to educate them in. reagan talked about religious freedom. speech, press, assembly, religion. the freedom to integrate. thing about that. you could not go over the iron curtain. reagan's secretary of state said any time he mentioned the iron curtain to the audience, and he
said this before he died, about a year before, in which direction did the east german guards who patrolled the berlin wall pointed the guns east on their own people. walls are usually built to keep enemies from invading. this was a wall to keep people who wanted to be free from leaving. it had barbwire over the top of it. the te there was raked gravel so they could see if there were footprints there and the guard would be responsible for letting them go free.
reagan said only when people can free to create, worship and build only then do cites become dynamic and prosperous. he talked about the freedom to extract energy and oil. do you think how much energy would be extracted if the government allowed them to do so? right. the freedom to do that. and freedom wasn't just the exclusive exclusive domains of the americans, it is part of the human spirit and conservatives need to be freedom fighters and keepers of the flame of liberty. all right. second principle. 1-11 so far. less than 10%. second one is faith.
consistent with reagan you have conservatives today who walk freedom, freedom, freedom, but what reagan understood and what c c conservatism is about. if you don't have freedom without faith it can be just license and vice and not virtue. it can be las vegas not the city of god. and faith provides a sanctifying grace that elevated free will. reagan worked with john paul ii
and john paul ii made a statement freedom without faith can become confused and perverse and can even lead to the destruction for others. pope benedict said the west serves from a confused ideaology of freedom. the scriptual verses say don't use your freedoms as opportunity for the flesh but rather use freedom to what? serve others. to love your neighbor as yourself.
russell clark talked about ordered liberty. you have to have an inner order before the country can have a external order. george washington talked about self-g self-governing yourself before you can have a successful self-governing nation. john adams said the constitution was made for religious and moral people and if you take that away wuiowa -- you are in trouble. reagan said the image of george washington nailing in the snow of valley porch was the most
sublime issue in american history because the per sonified of people knew they had to seek help from their creator. bill clark was very close to ronald reagan and used to tell me one of reagan's favorites votes aside from the washington one was lincoln that said i'm brought to the conclusion that i am brought to my knees frequently because there is nowhere else to go. and he wondered what would happen if we scrapped religion. this was with a great speech as georgetown given in october of
1988. reagan said at it's full flowering, freedom is the first principle of western society. and yet freedom cannot exist alone. and that is why the theme for your bicentenni al is learning faith and freedom. each make them possible. and then he quoted the author of "democracy of america" in 1835. he said despitism day govern without faith but religion cannot. religion is needed more in democratic societies than any
other. so you need a law that will self-govern the people before the nation. and reagan warned then learning is a good thing but unless it is tempered by faith and a love of freedom it can be dangerous. reagan said that learning is about learning this vital relationship between faith and freedom. at grove city college, faith and visi vision.com is our website for faith for center. reagan said the twin beacons of faith and freedom that brighten the american sky. the twin beacons of faith and freedom brighten the american sky. principle three is family.
the trinity he worshiped father, son, holy family was a family. reagan constantly made statements on the family throughout this run. this surprised me. i had no idea how true it was. this was one of the last principles i added to the book. when i saw the sheer frequency of the references it became clear. he said it was the most basic and important unit of society. the family is the nuke of civ civilization and the corner of stone of society. the engine of social progress. families stand at the center of society as the very foundation
of freedom and children belong in the family. and here is a very conservative sentiment from reagan. it is in a family that children are nonl cared for but taught the traditions that give order to society and life as a whole. what happens when there is no longer an understanding of what those moral values and traditions are? right? it is more important than every that american families affirm on older and more lasting set of values. the time-tested values. here is another conservative senment: it is up to families to observe and pass on to each generation the values we most cherish. our concept of the family must withstrand the trends of
lifestyle and legislation. reagan worried about progress that redefines family according to the latest lifestyle. he has given the farewell address and shutdown -- issued this statement: we must teach the young ones that the marriage is the loving lifelong relationship between men and women that is marriage. patty reagan said a year ago she thinks her father wouldn't have stood in the way of gay marriage and i was asked by the president where did reagan stand on this and he never commented on it.
in reagan's time this was unthinkable. anybody that proposed that idea would have been hauled off to a mental home. people that thought was totally out of anybody's mental framework. when you see the sentiments that the family has been with us since the dawn of human history he said and what can each of us do a as father, mother, daughter, son, or grand parent to strengthen this divine institution and he invokes that one holy family, as a model of the family as well, and he warns foremost of those forces that would weaken or destroy the
family. and he said above all and i think this is significant and doctors use this phrase in another context but reagan said first of all the government should do no harm to the family. first and foremost do no harm. still with me? >> yeah! >> santicty and dignity of human life. reagan believes the right to life is the first and most fundamental of all freedoms. the first and most fundamental of all freedoms. in 1983, he said my administration is dedicated to american as a free land and there is no cause more important for preserving that freedom than
affirming the right to human life to all human beings and the right to which no other rights have any other meaning. if you don't have the right to life there can be no other rights. no freedom of speech, press, freedom to do anything without first the right to life. that comes first from which all others flow. reagan supports a human life amendment to the u.s. constitution. which is interesting because a lot of pro-lifers at the time thought you don't have to mess with the constitution. had they done that it would have inserted the paramount right to live is invested in each human from the moment of fertlization without regard to age, health or
anything else. the obama hss mandate that requires the abortions to be funded would have violated the human right amendment if was implemented and passed but that would have been a long shot and probably wouldn't have happened. bill clark used to point to reagan's experience as a lifeguard in dixon, illinois at rock river when he patrolled the waters for seven summers. reagan saved the lives of 77 people as a lifeguard ages of 15-22. lifeguards in here? i have students who have been lifeguard and they say i didn't save 77 people.
but that instilled in reagan a but it was also on outgrowth of faith. reagan said god's most blessed gift to the family is the gift of life. he sent us the prince of peace as a baby in a manager. then he compared to abortion movement to the slavery movement. this nation fought a terrible war so black americans were guaranteed their god-given rights. lincoln saw we could not survive when which could decide if some could be slaves and some free. and reagan asks how can this
happen in today's society when some chose who is fit to live and who is not. then he just said this quote suffer the little children to come untome and forbid not for such is the kingdom of god. and ended with that. reagan said that every human person is a res sacra and that is a sacred human being and every human being is infused with a soul so because of that we are eternal and we are more important than states because they are not eternal.
reagan gave a july 1987 speech for a small room of pro-lifers and he talked to them and said i know some of you have been abused of being single-issue voters but he said what single issue is of greater significance than this. and he ended with leaving a quotation from the late cardinal cook in new york. cook wrote the gift of life, god's special life, is no less beautiful when it comes with illness, hunger or poverty, mental handy caps or old age.
it is in and through the weakest of human vessels the lord continues to reveal the power of his love. a former student of mine named jeff who has a down syndrome child, i shared that quote and he said that is so true. another principle of reagan conser conservatism. american exceptionalism. reagan thought american was a shining city upon a hill and the last beacon on earth. he said that for 30 years before t the presidency. i found a speech he gave in june
1952 at a small girl's college in missouri. in that speech, reagan said america is less than a place than an idea. think about that. chew that over. it really is, right? the idea of america is nothing but the inherent love of freedom. it is the idea that the bases of this country and our religion, the idea of the man, and the idea that deep within the heart of each of us is something so god-like, agustus said all of us have a god-shaped vacuum in our hearts and only god can fit that piece. there is something so god-like and precious that no individual
or group has a right to impose their will on upon the people so well they can decide for themselves. and reagan said that speech in 1952 and over and over again and was ridiculed for this thought. i in my own mind have thought of american as a place in the divi divine promise land. i believe that god in shedding his grace on this country has always in the divine scheme of things kept on eye on our land and guided it as the promise land. and any country that was so blessed, it it were to turn their back on the god that showered it with blessing, what might happen to that country once it doesn't give gratitude
when gratitude is done. anybody learning about john winthrop? maybe three of you? it is required at grove city. get this, what winthrop imagineed is important because he was an early freedom man. he junior journeyed here in a rickety boat. a boat person from cuba, boat person from china. he was looking to be free.
he said the town was tall, built on rocked and stronger than oce oceans. wind swept and god blessed. if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and heart to get there. that is how i saw it and i see it still. reagan said that, too, in his farewell address which is fascinating because for presidents to normally give the farewell address maybe it is review of what they accomplished but for reagan it was a teachable lesson in american exceptionalism. i have eleven principles. those were just five of them.
let's do two more and i will go through them quicker. the founders' wisdom and vision. reagan, more than any other president, rediscovered the founders. i knew reagan quoted the founders constantly so with the public papers of the united states, i went through and i had two great students help me this, i went through and tried to count the number of times the presidents site the founders. jimmy carter and gerald ford did the least which is odd because they were around 1976. kennedy, nixon, johnson and bill clinton commonly sited the
founders. lbj was the highest at 240. reagan sighted them 850 times. 850 times. one of my favorite examples here, and president obama doesn doesn doesn't site the founders very often. he gave a 4th of july statement just a few years ago where he referred to the founder as quote many of property and wealth unquote. but reagan would refer to them this in glowing language. here is the 1964 time for choosing speech. ham hamilton warned us that a nation that prefers dangerous is prepared for massacre. choosing the high road can't
eliminate risk. should moses have told the children to live in slavery rather than live in wilderness? should christ have refused the cross? are we to believe all of the martyrs in history died in vein? reagan is saying it is time for choosing, you step up and accept the risk and fight for freedom. he loved the words of tom pane as well. he said these are the times that try men's soul. i love that. but reagans first pane quote is we have the power the begin the world all over again. and reagan believed he could do that in the cold war and the battle against communnism.
he told richard alan a few weeks after carter was in the office and he said dick, my idea of foreign policy is simple: we win, they lose. and everybody would have thought you were crazy. you will defeat the soviet empire. two more. lower taxes. reagan conservative most identified with lower taxes and in particularly lower federal income taxes. and even more specifically the federal progressive graduated income tax. anybody know when the income tax started? 1913. passed by woodrow wilson and this required an amendment to
the constitution to be able to tax property. that is how big of a deal this was. the idea of a permanent gradated progressive income tax was totally new in america. this was 140 years after the declereration of independence. when it was put in place in 1913, it was a 7% was the highest rate on incomes over $500, 000. by 1921, wilson's final year in office, that 7% upper rate was
up to 73%. part of that was for world war i and people watching, the liberals are saying it was because of world war i. it was 1914-1918 but for america it was april 1917 and 1918. that 73% wasn't just to cover the cost of the war. this continued until 1921 as well. it goes up under fdr to 94% with the upper income rate. read burt folsum's book, he considered a 99.5% rate on incomes over $100, 000.
reagan argude this progressive tax was from the communist m manfesto. if you look at it up online and marx listed the ten-point plan and the top 2-3 points one of them is a graduated progressive income tax. reagan at the time when fdr did this, reagan was a progressive democrat, a bleeding heart liberal. when reagan made movies he was one of the top five actors at warner brothers. reagan was one of the top five box office draws at warner brothers. they would make 3-4 movies a
year and reagan realized once he hit the 94% rate there was no point in make another movie when you were going to lose 94 cents on the dollar. and he learned as a rich guy that didn't hurt him. but the people that work in the cafe at warner brothers, the camera man, and the blue collars were the ones that got hurt. he brought it down to 28%. he also, when he came in, there were 16 separate tax brackets for everyone. by the time he was done there were two. so he simplified the tax code and this simplified it, eliminated loop holes and removed 4 million worker poor
from the tax roles. the reagan did increase taxes and social security payroll tax in 1983, '84, '87 but he never budged on reducing income taxes. for reagan, not all taxes were equal and not all tax cuts were equal. federal income tax were the centerpiece of this. and just a few statistics. in the 1980s, get this, real income for a median african-american family dropped by 11% from 1977-1982 but from 1982-1989 it rose by 17% and a
40% jump in the black households earning $50,000 or more. black unemployment, which has increased under obama, fell faster in the 1980s. the number of black-owned businesses increased by 40%. the number of blacks who enrolled in college in the 1980s increased by 30% under reagan. whereaswhite college enrollment increased by only 6%. hispanics have similar numbers. the number of hispanic-owned businesses under reagan in the 1980s grew by 81%. the number of hispanics enrolled in college jumped by 45%. liberals love to talk about the income gap between men and women. women went to earning 71 cents
and their employment and median earnings outpaced the men and women enrolled in college in record numbers. and young folks, every night you would turn on the tv in the 1980s and you had dan worth talking about the homeless like lay were stacked like card board. 2-3 million homeless and one thing said in chicago there were 250,000 or something crazy like that. hud did a report in 1984 that rest -- estimated the number of homeless was under -- 300, 000.
in 2012, when obama was up for reelection, the national alliance to end homelessness, estimated there are 636,000 homeless in america. more than twice the number under obama than reagan. and 47 million americans on food stamps with obama and on reagan 18 million. last one: limited government. this one is quick. this is one is important, though. conservatives are not anti-government. they are anti-big government. anti-nanny state cradle to grave government. they are against what reagan called creeping socialism. and reagan's 1981 inaugural
address said it is not my intention to do away with government. he said other than core functions government does few thinks as well or better than the private sector of the economy. and reagan said in 1981 in the presence crisis government isn't the solution to the problem, government is the problem. contrast that to obama in 2009 who said this: the federal government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt our economy back into life. it is only government that can break the vicious cycle where loss jobs lead to people. so obama does an $800 billion government package to stimulate
growth. what did reagan ranch do? cut taxes allowing people to keep more of their own money and let that money stimulate economic growth. all right. i have got to stop there. i have again on too long. there are other principles but you will have to read to learn about them. one of them is anti-communist, peace and strength, belief in the individual. and you will have to read to book to learn about that. the statistics are in the book. and andrew bush, university of denver, brilliant and he is the source for a lot of economic data. those are government numbers so it isn't disputable. all right. questions?
yes, sir? thank you so much for all of your detailed research. i appreciate the effort you put into this. >> wait until you find out i made it all up >> i hope not! i was taking a couple notes on what you said and i was wondering reagan was very bold about what he believed and he said he ought to wave a banner of bold colors instead of pail pastels and i was wondering in today's culture that is conditioned against conservat se values and if you say we are going to cut taxes and limit government benefits people are repulsed.
so i was wondering how ought a true conservative market himself to the american people while still standing on true reagan ideals but in a way that can appeal to people. >> keep in mind thes are principles. he said you cannot run away from them. and none of these are mean or bad now look at them. freedom, faith, the family, limited government, cutting taxes, believe in the individual and anti-communism. and reagan did a great job of articilating this eloquently and a reasoning way with a smile.
one of my frustrations with george w. bush was how bush wouldn't even responds to the critics. there were times who someone would say something vicious. remember when he landed on the deck of the aircraft carrier and i think the senator from virgin virginia, robert bird, went out and jumped all over him and reagan would have had a comeback. bush just curled up in the fetal position and wouldn't say anything. reagan responded with wit, a windsome quality, and they said reagan was conserve with a
smile. reagan had that wit. some of the spokes people need that today. and i would say they need reagan's fearlessness and willingness to understand and i would advise ted cruz and marco rubio this. they are the liberals worst nightmare. they are conservative hispanics. and the last think they want is that vote to go to that party. and they must destroy ted cruz at all cost. they are going to call you names no matter what. one of the most liberating things about reagan was he didn't care what the new york times thought about him. he made the comparison between abortion and slavery and they went nut and he smiled and went
on. you need that quality. modern republicans and conservatives need that quality. >> thank you. >> thanks. >> i am from the college of ozarks. and our wharofficers went to wa the state of the union and noticed the president said he had a pen and phone for executive orders. and reagan wrote 280 executive orders. did you look into that? >> i don't think the number of executive orders. >> how would you respond to that as the left attacks that as a hypocrisy of conservatives? >> a president who has to rely on executive orders isn't getting the bipartisan support
and liberals say that is because of the republican congress. but reagan passed this tax cut at the reagan ranch on august 13th, 1981 and the exhibit up here is quoted where the "washington pos "washington post" called it the most bipartisan plan in history. so obama hasn't ben able to do that. reag reag reagan convinced huge numbers to vote for him. obama loves the word collective. at some point i want to do a content analysis for how many times he used the word
collective. the liberals are saying reagan used the term collective. but not in the same way. they are used in a totally different way. if you have to relay on executive order to govern you are not convincing enough people of your program. >> hello. i am also from college of the ozarks. my question is i know reagan a doored american gems and a hard powered approach, but in today's world, especially international with the proliferation and everybody on edge and the instability we have with other countries, do you think that is appropriate or should we go with the obama soft power approach?
>> reagan contrary to public perception because reagan was seen as a hawk because he increased the defense budget but he said the strong military is what keeps people from acting. he had a quote that said there have been four attacks but none because of our military. he only used force twice. he got them out of grenada and in april of 1986 there was a strike against libya. those were the only two times. this this is also because of his
hot words against the soviets. he said the soviet union is an evil empire. they jail their own citizens and they shoot and kill people. it is time for moral clarity. jimmy carter kissed and hugged the former president at the geneva summit and six months after that the soviets invaded afghanistan. that is carter's christmas president. he is at the whitehouse enjoying christmas and the national security advisors say the guy you just kissed invaded afghanistan. so that kissing didn't do anything. reagan thought words were weapons in the arsenal. you didn't want to fire missiles
because that would unleash a nuclear war. but he fired verbal cruise missiles that could be more damageing. and mose words like evil empire were up lifting to people being held into the goo log. and he said when he was there they brought him pictures of the magazines saying this is your reagan. and he don't contain thhis glee after they leave and he is tapping in morris code that reagan called us an evil empire. and he starts jumping up and down and tapping on the wall and the last words ringing out are
evil empire. so the president had finally spoken the truth and it resin e resonated and made a difference. >> i want to follow-up here. what do you think with that ideaology the reagan approach to what is happen in syria and iran how would he deal? >> i used to get asked this about the iraq war. i know i can say on iran and i was critical of obama. remember in june of 2009, when the iranian streets erupted and obama made carter-like weak comments and the democrats were astounded and then me made stronger comments.
but reagan would have treated it like poland and said people of iran who want freedom, who want liberty, we are with you, we stand at your side and support you. right? you have got the support of the united states and obama wasn't saying things like that at first. you don't have to aid the iranian streets or freedom fighters whoever that would be just like reagan didn't give missiles and tanks to the solidarity movement. but ask people in poland when reagan was doing the comments like we are with you people of poland that was powerful and invigorating and obama should do that. reagan believes we were it. the shining center upon the
hill. and reagan conveyed that message as he put it the captive people behind the iron curtain. >> good evening. so i wanted to ask you a question regarding immigration reform which is one of the most pressing issues living here in california. i wanted to ask you -- i was reading a statistic research guide that was stating your amount of growing illegal immigrants has presented high levels and if we were able to mass deport all of the illegal americans we could have enough jobs. and i mentioned this in a talk and liberal democrats say this is too radical and racist and
stuff. but based on reagan's conservative views, how would he have dealt with this? it seems in statistics it would work and we are in growing deficit and our tax keeping rates are higher and higher and the economy is tanking and we have a greater way to for them to get scholarships now. >> reagan dealt with. and remember he was california governor. but i quote this in the book and should have put this in the talk. the reagyear was 1986 and reaga used the arguments that immigrants provide sources of
labor that many jobs that americans won't take. so reagan grantedm amnesty but did it in exchange for tighter boarder security that would allow people to enter the country legally. so really what i think reagan did was right but what would what happened is the follow-up to what he did never took place. the boarder security wasn't provided. a piece by peter robinson who wrote the tear down this wall speech was the best on this. it is titled something like what would reagan do on immigration. very good. i strongly recommend it. >> any other questions? are you all wiped out? it is getting late. andrew? i get the hook. my former student. must be that c i gave him.
[laughter] >> no, he got an a. >> you were not supposed to talk about that. i have been waiting tr opportunity. thank you, paul. [ applause ] &%c1 >> and now from the 2014 tucson festival of book. today's coverage starting with alan wiseman talking about the population growth impact on the plant and then a panel on the mercury seven astronaut wives. i will like to thank to